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25951  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / NYT Hits in football: on: January 31, 2009, 04:54:31 AM
TAMPA, Fla. — Isaac Newton’s apple hurt considerably less than Ryan Clark’s coconut. But they did have a few things in common.

A head-on hit from the Jets’ Eric Smith sent the Cardinals’ Anquan Boldin to the hospital.

Clark’s shockingly violent hit on the Baltimore Ravens’ Willis McGahee two Sundays ago — a full-speed, helmet-to-helmet crash that left McGahee unconscious and Clark all but — didn’t just follow the N.F.L.’s rules, but Newton’s as well. Force equaled mass times acceleration. Momentum was conserved. And the bodies finally came to rest, McGahee’s on a stretcher.

“How I look at it, you can be the hammer or the nail,” the inner scientist in Clark explained this week. “I try to be the hammer.”

The tackle, the art of making the ball carrier not stay in motion, is football’s most primeval action. Amusing physicists the way batting averages do actuaries, collisions lead the highlight reels, impart the force of a deadly car crash, and rely upon kinematics that date to a considerably different big bang.

Sunday’s Super Bowl could very well ride on how well the Steelers’ defense — known as perhaps the most fearsome and bone-clattering in the N.F.L. — can tackle the Arizona Cardinals’ fast and evasive wide receivers. From angles and acceleration to speed and centers of gravity, players might not understand the physics of tackling, but they know how to wield it.

“It’s all about timing and leverage,” Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson said. “Being able to time the hit the right way, and the leverage you’ve got to have once you make impact so the other player goes back, and not you.”

Trying to trip up or throw down a ball carrier with only one’s arms can be a risky maneuver. Barreling straight into him with 200-plus pounds of muscle at 20 miles an hour is a more reliable impediment.

From there, Newton’s second law of motion (force equals mass times acceleration) and conservation of momentum take over. Mass is the players’ weight, which in the N.F.L. grows higher every decade. Acceleration is not that of the incoming tackler, as is often assumed, but how quickly both the defender and runner slow down through impact.

It is this duration of impact, between one- and two-tenths of a second by many estimates, that has tremendous effect on the force of a football collision. Hard objects repel each other quickly; equally heavy but softer objects have “give” that allows their contact to last longer and accept the force less jarringly. It’s the difference between being hit by a baseball and being hit by an overripe peach.

“The tackler doesn’t want his body to be a big spring — these players lower their shoulder and tense up and launch to make their force go up,” said Stefan Duma, a professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech who has studied the similarities between football collisions and car crashes. “It’s like trying to break down a door — you try to get all your mass behind you and drive it through one point. You want to get all your mass to act as one mass, one missile.”

Reaching the ball carrier at full speed is crucial, as any deceleration before impact saps force from the hit. This is where angles come in, said Timothy Gay, a professor of physics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the author of “Football Physics: The Science of the Game.” Football instincts allow the best safeties to anticipate where the runner or receiver will be and then take the shortest route to him, maintaining speed and even allowing for one final push.

“Jack Tatum was vicious — that helps — but he had a way of popping with the perfect angle and timing,” Gay said of the former Oakland Raiders safety called the Assassin in both reverence and fear. “The best hitters accelerate at the last instant. That final jolt of speed allows them to apply a bigger force to their victim.”

Ask a physicist and a coach where that force should be applied, and they can answer differently. Gay said that the hit should be applied at the runner’s center of mass — just below the rib cage in the center of the chest — to direct all the force into stopping his forward motion. Missing that spot by too much, Gay said, “Causes the ball carrier to rotate around his center of mass, and he might not go down. The announcer would say, ‘He bounced off him.’ ”

But Ray Horton, the Steelers’ defensive backs coach, preaches a different approach. He is all for the ball carrier rotating, as long as he does so violently enough to wind up on the turf.

“We teach you tackle at the knees — if you tackle at the thigh to the shoulders, that’s his power box,” Horton said. “If I want something to tip over, I don’t want to hit it in its center of gravity, because it might go straight back and stay upright. If I want it to go down, I want to hit below the center of gravity, and that’s why we hit by the knees.”

Horton added: “Low man wins. If you hit him too high, he’s going to run you over because of the physics of how big these guys are.”

Page 2 of 2)

Which is why trying to run over the most massive running backs, from Earl Campbell to Brandon Jacobs, is asking for your action to get an equal and opposite (not to mention embarrassing) reaction, with you on the ground and the runner continuing onward. Because momentum — defined as mass times velocity — is conserved in all collisions, Jacobs moving at any decent speed is almost impossible to stop by an outweighed defender’s merely running into him. Tripping him or wrapping him up and waiting for help is a far better option, as long as you are not under him when he finally falls.

Running backs do not sustain the hardest shots in football, though. Few plays get more oohs and aahs than when a lithe receiver crosses the middle and, with or without the ball, gets hit squarely by an oncoming safety.
Duma suggested imagining the body as a primary mass (the torso) in the middle with several other masses connected by springs (the limbs and neck) attached to it. When the tense and intent defender hits the center of this object, the torso accelerates back while the head and feet stay behind temporarily, before flopping back. These are the hits that make the highlights.

Duma said that in his experience — he watches dozens of N.F.L. games each season — these hits are more frequent at the end of games already in hand.

“When you’re up, your defense hits harder,” Duma said. “They take more risks. If you come across the middle on the slant, they’re going to go after you and not worry about missing the tackle and giving up the touchdown.”

He added: “I think that’s what you saw on the Clark-McGahee hit at the end of the last game. I saw it a lot in these playoffs. Baltimore against the Dolphins, they were just leveling people. Ed Reed could run all over the backfield, and if he was out of position, they wouldn’t lose the game.”

Clark appeared to concur. On Wednesday, he said: “The McGahee hit, that was a point where I probably could have stopped and waited and tried to tackle him, but it’s sad to say I think I closed my eyes and I was praying that I’d wake up when I hit the ground.”

In the end, players leave physics out of their own definitions of hard hits. Anquan Boldin, the Cardinals’ receiver who was hit so high and hard by a Jets defender earlier this season that he now has 7 plates and 40 screws in his face, said he defined the perfect hit as “when you get hit hard enough to make you rethink about having anything to do with the ball,” which apparently the Jets hit still was not. Clark said, “What makes a good hit is not getting fined.”

Clark said he was not particularly familiar with Newton’s laws — but then offered his own theory of momentum, one he plans to use in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

“A good hit can change the momentum of the game,” he said. “If we come out there and hit them, be physical with them, and get a good hit early, I think they might go back to the quarterback and say, ‘How ’bout you not throw the ball in there?’ ”
25952  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / A song from my youth on: January 30, 2009, 09:17:35 PM
Do your balls hang low?
Do they wobble too and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot and
throw them over your shoulder
like a Continental Solidier (reference to American Revolution)
Do your balls hang low?
25953  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Facebook on: January 30, 2009, 07:27:25 PM
Oh.  smiley
25954  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Visual puns on: January 30, 2009, 06:39:51 PM

Visual puns
25955  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A thoroughly depressing rant on: January 30, 2009, 06:15:59 PM
The Suicide Of Marlboro Man

The Price Of Freedom Is Slavery. Sort Of. A Little Anyway


The other days I was reading G. Gordon Liddy's book of conservative nostalgia, When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country. He paints a sunset picture of former times when America was free, farmers could fill in swamps without violating wetland laws, and guns were just guns. People were independent and had character, and made their own economic decisions. The market ruled as it ought, and governmental intrusion was minimal.

The picture is accurate. I lived it. I wish it would come back, which it won't. It was a world certain to kill itself.

What happens is that, in an independent-minded rural county full of hardy yeomen, the density of population grows, either nearby or at distant points on each side. A highway comes through because the truckers lobby in Washington wants it. Building a highway is A Good Thing, because it represents Progress, and provides jobs for a year.

It also makes the country accessible to the big city fifty miles away. A real-estate developer buys 500 acres along the river from the self-reliant character-filled owner. He does this by offering sums of money that water the farmer's eyes.

First, 500 houses go up in a bedroom suburb called Brook Dale Manor. A year later, 500 more go up at Dale View Estates. This is A Good Thing, because the character-filled independent now-former farmer is exercising his property rights, and because building the suburb creates jobs. The river now looks ugly as the devil, but this is a wacko issue.

At Safeway corporate headquarters, way off God knows where, the new population shows up as a denser shade of green on a computer screen. A new Safeway goes in along the highway. This is A Good Thing, exemplifying free enterprise in action and creating jobs in construction. Further, Safeway sells cheaper, more varied and, truth be known, better food than the half-dozen mom-and-pop stores in the county, which go out of business.

Soon the mall men in the big city hear of the county. A billion-dollar company has no difficulty in buying out a character-filled, self-reliant farmer who makes less than forty thousand dollars a year. A shopping center arrives with a Wal-Mart. This is A Good Thing, etc. Wal-Mart sells almost everything cheaply.

It also puts most of the stores in the country seat out of business. With them go the restaurants, which no longer have the walk-by traffic previously generated by the stores. With the restaurants goes the sense of community that flourishes in a town with eateries and stores and a town square. But this is granola philosophy, appealing only to meddlesome lefties.

K-Mart arrives, along with, beside the highway, McDonald's, Arby's, Roy Rogers, and the other way stations on route to coronary occlusion. Strip development is A Good Thing because it represents the exercise of economic freedom. The county's commerce is now controlled by distant behemoths to whom the place is the equivalent of a pin on a map.

This is A Good Thing. The jobs in these outlets are secure and comfortable. The independent, character-filled frontiersmen are now low-level chain employees, no longer independent because they can be fired.

A third suburb, Brook Manor View Downs, appears. The displaced urbanites in these eyesores now outnumber the character-filled etcs. They are also smarter, have lawyers among their ranks, and co-operate. They quickly come to control the government of the county.

They want city sewerage, more roads, schools, and zoning. The latter isn't unreasonable. In a sparsely settled county, a few hogs penned out back and a crumbling Merc on blocks don't matter. In a quarter-acre yuppie ghetto, they do. Next come leash laws and dog licenses. The boisterous clouds of floppy-eared hounds turn illegal.

Prices go up, as do taxes. The profits of farming and commercial crabbing in the river do not go up. The farmers and fishermen are gradually forced to sell their land to developers, and to go into eight-to-fiving. Unfortunately you cannot simultaneously be character-filled and independent and be afraid of your boss. A hardy self-reliant farmer, when he becomes a security guard at the Gap, is a rented peon. The difference between an independent yeoman and a second-rate handyman is independence.

People make more money, and buy houses in Manor Dale Mews, but have less control over their time, and so no longer build their own barns, wire their houses, and change their own clutch-plates. Prosperity is A Good Thing. Its effect is that the children of the hardy yeoman become dependent on others to change their oil, fix their furnaces, and repair their boats.

The new urban majority are frightened by guns. They don't hunt, knowing that food comes from Safeway and its newly-arrived competitor, Giant. They do not like independent countrymen, whom they refer to as rednecks, grits, and hillbillies. Hunting makes no sense to them anyway, since the migratory flocks are vanishing with the wetlands.

Truth be told, it isn't safe to have people firing rifles and shotguns in what is increasingly an appendage of the city. The clout of the newcomers makes it harder for the independent whatevers to let their weapons even be seen in public. The dump is closed to rat-shooting.

The children of the hardy rustics do not do as well in school as the offspring of the commuting infestation, and are slowly marginalized. Crime goes up as social bonds break down. Before, everyone pretty much knew everyone and what his car looked like. Strangers stood out. Teenagers raised hell, but there were limits. Now the anonymity of numbers sets in and, anyway, there's no community any longer.

And so the rural character-filled county becomes another squishy suburb of pallid yups who can't put air in their own tires. The rugged rural individualists become cogs in somebody else's wheel. Their children grow up as libidinous mall monkeys drugging themselves to escape boredom. The county itself is a hideous expanse of garish low-end development . People's lives are run from afar.

What it comes to is that the self-reliant yeoman's inalienable right to dispose of his property as he sees fit (which I do not dispute) will generally lead to a developer's possession of it. The inalienable right to reproduce will result in crowding, which leads to dependency, intrusive government, and loss of local control.

I'd like to live again in Mr. Liddy's world. Unfortunately it is self-eliminating. Freedom is in the long run inconsistent with freedom, because it is inevitable exercised in ways that engender control. As a species, we just can't keep our pants up. But it was nice for a while.
25956  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Rest in Peace on: January 30, 2009, 06:11:33 PM
On Tuesday morning Grand Master Helio Gracie was tanning at his ranch
in Brazil, and on Thursday morning at 9:15 he passed on due to natural
causes. His legacy will survive forever in all members of the Gracie
Family, jiu-jitsu practitioners around the world, and all those who
have benefited from the revolution he began.

In his final years, the creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu often spoke of his
satisfaction with his life's work. He openly stated that he had
accomplished everything he had set out to do, displaying his
preparedness for the transition into the afterlife.

The Grand Master believed that such a transition should be seen as a
positive step in one's spiritual evolution. In a recent interview he
declared: "I've already told my sons that when I die I want there to
be a party. No drinking, no debauchery."

To honor his request and his legacy, the Gracie Academy will host a
celebratory gathering/slideshow presentation on Saturday, February 7,
2009. In anticipation of a large turnout of friends and family, we
intend to have three showings starting at 4:00pm, 5:00pm and 6:00pm.
If you can't make it to the party, but would like to express how the
Grand Master has affected your life, please send your story to so we can post it on the Gracie Academy
25957  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: January 30, 2009, 06:10:22 PM
Newt Gingrich does movie about President Ronald Reagan
25958  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self Defense with Pistols on: January 30, 2009, 06:05:24 PM
From the TPI forum:

everyone is familiar with 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'. It was the first of 14 novels written by L. Frank Baum at the turn of the last century. My personal favorite installment is the fourth, 'Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz'. Did you know that the Wizard carried two handguns?

In Chapter 11 'They Meet The Wooden Gargoyles' we find this passage.


"Jim's right," sighed the Wizard. "There's going to be trouble, and my sword isn't stout enough to cut up those wooden bodies—so I shall have to get out my revolvers."

He got his satchel from the buggy and, opening it, took out two deadly looking revolvers that made the children shrink back in alarm just to look at.

"What harm can the Gurgles do?" asked Dorothy. "They have no weapons to hurt us with."

"Each of their arms is a wooden club," answered the little man, "and I'm sure the creatures mean mischief, by the looks of their eyes. Even these revolvers can merely succeed in damaging a few of their wooden bodies, and after that we will be at their mercy."

"But why fight at all, in that case?" asked the girl.

"So I may die with a clear conscience," returned the Wizard, gravely. "It's every man's duty to do the best he knows how; and I'm going to do it."
25959  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: January 30, 2009, 05:50:12 PM
Michael Yon is a truly great American who background, intelligence, courage, and integrity make him one of the great war correspondents.  IMHO America's weak link is our clarity about the nature of this war and our knowledge about how we are doing.

Dog Brothers Martial Arts makes a substantial monthly donation to Michael Yon.

Do you?
25960  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Michael Yon on: January 30, 2009, 05:49:39 PM
Michael Yon is a truly great American who background, intelligence, courage, and integrity make him one of the great war correspondents.  IMHO America's weak link is our clarity about the nature of this war and our knowledge about how we are doing.

Dog Brothers Martial Arts makes a substantial monthly donation to Michael Yon.

Do you?
25961  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Suppliments: Legal and Illegal on: January 30, 2009, 05:29:21 PM
I have been sorely tempted by steroids over the years, but ultimately decided to pass.

I saw too many people who followed that path:

a) not spend the substantial $$$ that go with proper medical testing and supervision, and
b) find it hard to be motivated by the lesser results that are the reality of mere mortals-- i.e. they found it hard to train when they weren't juicing, and

For me these two points added up to steroids being contrary to my path of being a warrior for all my days.

Crafty Dog
25962  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Facebook on: January 30, 2009, 05:23:12 PM
Ummm , , , Tom , , , search it for what?  huh
25963  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / from Scott Grannis's blog on: January 30, 2009, 01:21:41 PM
The silver lining to the faux-stimulus bill
It looks to me like the "stimulus" bill that passed the House is rapidly losing support. That's not surprising, since it was so absolutely awful. If this disgraceful display of politics run wild does not cast serious doubt on the seriousness of Congress and the intelligence of our new president, nothing will. And that is the good news, because only something this bad can mobilize support for something that does make sense. The Senate needs to do its job now, and recast this effort to help the economy using reason, experience and logic, rather than pure partisan politics. Above all, our senators need to focus on the fact that simply handing out money to favored constituents and creating vast new spending programs that will take years to deploy is the worst possible way to stimulate the economy. True stimulus needs to focus on changing people's incentives to work, invest, and take risk. That means tax cuts, not tax rebates, and any changes should apply to anyone or any company that pays taxes.

If we're lucky, the debate in the Senate might last long enough that we discover that a stimulus bill is not really necessary after all.

Ben Stein reminds us just how awful the current bill was:

Eight hours of debate in the HR to pass a bill spending $820 billion, or roughly $102 billion per hour of debate.

Only ten per cent of the "stimulus" to be spent on 2009.

Close to half goes to entities that sponsor or employ or both members of the Service Employees International Union, federal, state, and municipal employee unions, or other Democrat-controlled unions.

This bill is sent to Congress after Obama has been in office for seven days. It is 680 pages long. According to my calculations, not one member of Congress read the entire bill before this vote. Obviously, it would have been impossible, given his schedule, for President Obama to have read the entire bill.

For the amount spent we could have given every unemployed person in the United States roughly $75,000. We could give every person who had lost a job and is now passing through long-term unemployment of six months or longer roughly $300,000.
25964  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 30, 2009, 01:07:21 PM
Hence the title of the thread  cheesy
25965  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Dog Brothers Facebook on: January 30, 2009, 12:58:21 PM
Hola a Todos:

No entiendo el fenomeno para nada, pero mi esposa me dice que cuando yo vea, voy a entender.  Obedeciendo sus ordenes  cheesy se les informo que Dog Brothers Martial Arts ahora tiene un grupo en Facebook:

La Aventura continua!
Guro Crafty
25966  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / PP: BO growing orchids in Oval Office? on: January 30, 2009, 12:23:01 PM
Not of much significance compared to the clusterfcuk coming down the rails, but a little factoid which speaks volumes:

Speaking of heat, Barack Obama is feeling it in the Oval Office. But that's just because the thermostat is cranked up. "He's from Hawaii, O.K.?" said his senior adviser, David Axelrod. (Wait, we thought he was from Indonesia. Er, Chicago. Oh, never mind.) "He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there." So what about Obama's admonition in May? "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times," he said, "and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK." Obviously, he didn't mean that he couldn't keep his home at 72 during the winter.
25967  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / PP: What not to do on: January 30, 2009, 12:18:45 PM
What not to do: The British example

Americans are increasingly being caught between two irreconcilable schools of economics. The Keynesian-European Socialist school of thought that believes in government regulation, massive transfers of wealth via burdensome taxation, and a command-and-control economy dictated by politicians and bureaucrats; and the Friedrich Hayek-Capitalist school, which favors decreased regulation and taxation, incentives for markets and businesses, and leaving consumers to choose how they will spend (or save) their hard-earned money. The recent election of Barack Obama and large congressional majorities of Democrats has ushered in a new, and we hope short-lived, era of Keynesian thought whereby the government should stimulate economic growth and improve stability in the private sector (that was originally built through capitalism) by increasing government spending.

Britain, a follower of the Keynesian school of economics, experienced its first-ever economic contraction in 2008 (even considering the Great Depression) despite massive public spending. Indeed, in a thorough repudiation of Keynesian economics, the British government has outspent that of the United States and yet Britain still faces national bankruptcy, roiling unemployment and devastated commercial industries. Is it surprising, then, that no country has ever, in more than a century, successfully followed the Keynesian model and remained solvent?

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once pithily noted that the primary problem with Keynesian Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money. The Keynesian Socialism that American Democrats are so eager to bring to our shores only hastens the depletion of funds and brings us closer to national bankruptcy. More telling still, when Thatcher came to power in 1979, she employed the Hayek model and dragged Britain out of an extended economic malaise that the Keynesians were unable to stop
25968  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / USMC Sgt. Montoya on: January 30, 2009, 12:15:45 PM
Profiles of valor: U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Montoya

During the Battle for Baghdad in April 2003, United States Marine Corps Sgt. Scott Montoya was serving as a Scout Sniper, Scout Sniper Platoon, 2d Battalion, 23d Marines, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. At one point, enemy fire had Montoya's sniper team pinned down, and he directed his team to return fire while he ran into an open roadway to rescue an Iraqi civilian trapped in a vehicle. Montoya spotted a wounded Marine on the same roadway and led him to safety, and then another wounded Marine, and then another, who was unconscious, and then a fourth, all while shooting at the enemy with his free hand. Later, when Montoya was asked how many bullets went by him as he rescued four fellow Marines, he answered, "About 300." He added, "I saw a hurt Marine and all my training came into play. It wasn't a cognitive thing; I just saw the situation and cared for my Marines." For his "extraordinary heroism," Sgt. Montoya was awarded the U.S. military's second-highest honor, the Navy Cross.

25969  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Patriot Post: Lost in Space on: January 30, 2009, 12:12:56 PM
Department of Military Readiness: Barack Obama, space cadet
Ever since one man picked up a rock and hurled it in anger at another, the strategic value of controlling the high ground has been obvious. Well, obvious to those who think instead of feel. Yet we are less than two weeks into the Obama regime, and noises are already being made that U.S. access to and control of space, the ultimate high ground, are open to negotiation with our enemies. Just moments after Obama took the oath of office last week, the official White House Web site was updated with an "Ensure Freedom of Space" policy statement, which included a generic pledge to restore U.S. space leadership (when did we lose it?) while also seeking that leftist nirvana of a universal ban on space weapons. How, then, do we lead?

As U.S. military forces, and many civilians, are dependent upon U.S. space assets, the proposed ban on space weapons raises some critical questions. First and foremost, can we trust the word of our enemies without our critical space assets? History indicates that the answer is a resounding no. And what is a "space weapon," anyway? Is it only a satellite designed to attack another satellite? Or could weather satellites, used to plan military strikes, or GPS satellites, used to guide bombs to the target, be considered space weapons and, therefore, fall under a ban? Are we willing to leave that interpretation up to some anti-U.S. World Court? For the sake of national security, the Obama regime needs to get over its kumbaya view of the world and realize that, if it wants to "Ensure Freedom of Space," the only thing that has ever ensured freedom anywhere is superior weaponry in the right hands, at the right place, at the right time.

25970  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / PatriotPost on: January 30, 2009, 12:12:06 PM
New & notable legislation
"All U.S. taxpayers would enjoy the same immunity from IRS penalties and interest as Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner under a bill introduced Wednesday by Republican Rep. John Carter of Texas," reports "If we don't hold our highest elected officials to the same standards as regular working folks, we owe it to our constituents to change those standards so everyone is abiding by the same law," said Carter, a former Texas judge, who realizes his bill stands no chance of passing. The bill, called the "Rangel Rule Act of 2009," would allow any taxpayer paying back taxes to write "Rangel Rule" on their return in order to be immune from penalties and interest.

Speaking of Charlie Rangel (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is supposed to be preparing to dole out hundreds of billions of dollars from the upcoming stimulus package. Instead he is under the shadow of a growing ethics inquiry that could embarrass him and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who refused his earlier offer to step down from his post. Rangel was already under investigation for failing to pay $10,000 in taxes on a rental villa he owns in the Dominican Republic. Now he's under investigation for allegedly accepting a $1 million donation from a local businessman for his eponymous Harlem public policy center in exchange for his favorable vote on a tax bill that protected the donor's offshore accounts. Culture of corruption, anyone?

The Senate voted this week to postpone the conversion to digital television, scheduled for 17 February. President Obama urged the four-month delay because of evidence by the Nielsen Co. that indicates some 6.5 million households are not prepared for the switch. However, the House failed to reach the required two-thirds vote to override the original law. House leaders plan to bring it back for a simple majority vote next week. A delay would cost broadcasters millions of dollars.

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is back, and headed to Barack Obama's desk for his signature. Both the House and the Senate passed the bill this week. This time around, though, SCHIP has two items conspicuously absent from the legislation. The first is a requirement to provide a photo ID and proof of legal residency or citizenship; the second is a cap that would deny benefits to families earning more than 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) would not give straight answers when asked about the wisdom of removing these provisions, which would greatly reduce the opportunity for abuse of the program. That was probably because they knew that the truth -- removing these provisions takes us one step closer to universal taxpayer-abusing health care -- might not fly with the public. Yet.

Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on Thursday, which makes it easier to sue employers for pay discrimination. "It is a story of women across this country still earning just 78 cents for every $1 men earn, women of color even less, which means that today in the year 2009, countless women are still losing thousands of dollars in salary, income, and retirement savings over the course of a lifetime." Oddly enough, Obama's female Senate staffers earned 78 cents for every $1 his male staffers earned.

Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Rick Boucher (D-VA) introduced HR 197, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009, which would provide national recognition for all valid state right-to-carry licenses. In other words, states would be required to recognize other states' permits as they do drivers' licenses.

This week's 'Alpha Jackass' award

"The heart and soul of this has been a struggle of me against the system. Under these rules, I'm not even getting a fair trial; they're just hanging me. And when they hang me under these rules that prevent due process, they're hanging the 12 million people of Illinois who twice have elected a governor. I took that system on. I challenged that system." --former Illinois Gov. Rod "F." Blagojevich

Blogojevich was removed from office Thursday by the Illinois senate, which voted 59-0 to oust the "devious, cynical, crass and corrupt" governor. He derided the verdict as "un-American." Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn became Illinois' 41st governor.

25971  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Rest in Peace on: January 30, 2009, 12:06:34 PM
Two days before Royce was to fight Matt Hughes, I went to pick up someone who was a BB under Royce for a private.  He was from out of town and asked me to pick him up at Hennesey's in Redondo Beach.  It turns out he was having lunch with Royce and Helio Gracie.

I was flattered that Royce remembered me from our previous meeting (an introduction by Rigan Machado) and told him that he would establish guard on MH, and when MH went to hit him he would get past his elbow, slither to his back and choke him out.  He and Helio both laughed and Royce said to me "From your lips to God's ears!" 

I liked very much the enthusiasm for Life I sensed in Helio in that moment.
25972  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Patriot Post on: January 30, 2009, 11:55:22 AM
"A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." --Second Amendment, United States Constitution

Sixty million armed Patriots ... and counting
By Mark Alexander

By now, you've probably heard that large sectors of the U.S. economy have collapsed, consumer confidence is at a historic low, Democrats control the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, and they're poised to print "bailout and infrastructure" money on the theory of "trickle up poverty" -- risking a prolonged recession followed by hyperinflation.

If there is an economic recovery any time soon, it will be the result of private sector initiatives and a consumer confidence recovery, not the redistribution of a few trillion dollars among friends. Never fear, there is a "community organizer" at the helm.

And that's the good news.

The bad news is that Barack Hussein Obama and his congressional cadre may well use the current crisis as cover to further undermine our constitutional rule of law.

Yes, Obama and his Demo colleagues in the Senate and House have taken a sacred oath to "support and defend" our Constitution, but they have no history of honoring their oaths.

So where does that leave "The People"? Well, if the politicians don't honor their oath, why should we honor their office? That is a question for another day.

At no time in our history has the future of American liberty been secure without a vigorous defense of the plain language of our Constitution, opposed to the adulterated interpretation of the so-called "Living Constitution" promoted by Barack Obama and his gang of judicial activists.

And there is no more important place to start at this moment in our history than with the Second Amendment to our Constitution.

In 1833, Justice Joseph Story, appointed to the Supreme Court by our Constitution's principal author, James Madison, wrote the following in his "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States": "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."

That was never more true than today.

Obama claims: "I believe in the Second Amendment. Lawful gun owners have nothing to fear. I said that throughout the campaign. I haven't indicated anything different during the transition. ... We can have reasonable, thoughtful gun control measures that I think respect the Second Amendment and people's traditions. I think there's a lot of room before bumping against a constitutional barrier."

However, Obama's nominee for attorney general, Eric Holder (formerly Janet Reno's Deputy Attorney General), who faces Senate confirmation next week, reaffirmed in the recent DC v. Heller Supreme Court case his long-held position that the Second Amendment affirms no right of individual gun possession by private citizens.

Holder insists that the Second Amendment "does not protect firearms possession or use that is unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia," which he interprets as a military unit. Of course, our Founders understood "militia" to be synonymous with "the people," but Holder must have skipped his law school's elective on "original intent."

Holder's remarks seem to conflict with his boss's statements about gun ownership, but Obama is not referring to the rights assured by the Second Amendment: "I'm a strong believer in the rights of hunters and sportsmen to have firearms." That's the same subterfuge his mentor John Kerry propagated back in '04.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso understands what's at stake: "Given Holder's career of attacks on the Second Amendment, his nomination continues to be of great concern to me. ... Our nation's highest law enforcement officer must be committed to protecting and defending our individual rights to keep and bear arms."

Other conservatives also get it, like Louisiana Sen. David Vitter: "[Holder has] clearly advocated near-universal licensing and registration, and he joined and filed an amicus brief in the District of Columbia v. Heller U.S. Supreme Court case arguing that the Second Amendment was not an individual right. That's deeply disturbing."

Statistically, those who are not "deeply disturbed" by the implications of Holder's appointment are likely residing in one of those blue urban centers which typically elect liberals to national office.

I came across an essay from one such misguided urbanite this week -- Fred Lebrun, who writes for the Albany (NY) Times-Union.

Fred wrote of the unprecedented number of gun sales since Obama's election: "Otherwise sensible people seem to completely lose their marbles when it comes to the loaded question of handgun ownership, and what rules ought to apply. I'm not sure why that is. The latest example of mass paranoia at work for no discernable reason is a rush to gun shops across the country to buy sidearms. The rationale, or vague impetus, is that with the election of Barack Obama as president, we're heading for the confiscation of our guns, for sure. ... Well, if it's true, why in the world would you go out and buy something the government is going to take away from you anyway?"

Fred, those of us who still uphold our Constitution and honor our oaths, as have generations of Patriots before, understand that, in the words of James Madison, "The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone. ... The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition."

Madison's words are truer today than when he wrote them in 1787. (Our adversaries at the time of that writing, the British, are learning that gun confiscation leaves one defenseless against tyranny -- and they are now protesting ... with cardboard placards.)

As for why some folks "go out and buy something the government is going to take away from you anyway," well, the only guns that will ever be taken from my hands, or those of tens of millions of like-minded gun owners, will be seized posthumously, and with empty magazines -- which is the only reason Obama and his congressional Leftists have not completely discarded that venerable old Constitution.

Fred concludes: "For the first time since 1935, with an all-Democratic national government, we are in a position to finally institute some meaningful and sensible gun control measures that will help mightily in regaining our cities from gun terror, street by street. Gun control doesn't have to be a dirty word."

What Fred doesn't seem to understand is that there are already some 20,000 -- TWENTY THOUSAND -- gun laws on the books. The argument that more laws will make America safer is ludicrous at every level, and to suggest that somehow such laws justify undermining the Second Amendment's clear intent is to undermine the strongest pillar of our Constitution.

Y'know, Fred, old Ben Franklin had a word of advice for folks like you: "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

And to those for whom such a struggle proves too much an encroachment on their comfort zone, Sam Adams said, "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"

Currently, some 80 million Americans are gun owners, and it is estimated that 60 million of them own guns for purposes other than hunting. If you are not among them, you might thank God for the ranks of us who are, because as our Founders knew, we are the vanguard between liberty and tyranny.

(Visit PatriotShop.US for 2A products, and take a stand.)

Quote of the week
"No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms." --Thomas Jefferson

On cross-examination
"It ought to be a law that people must have a gun in their homes. I know many fine police officers. But we can't depend on the police to protect us anymore. The value of human life means nothing to [criminals]. If it had been my house [this thug] came in on, he would have wound up at Coulter Funeral Home." --General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon (Chattanooga, TN) advising a female victim of a home invasion to buy a gun

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away...

Open query
"What is a left-wing socialist but a Marxist without a gun?"â?¨--Don Feder

The BIG lie
"I am not in favor of concealed weapons. There has not been any evidence that allowing people to carry a concealed weapon is going to make anybody safer." --Barack Obama
25973  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DBMA Kali Tudo (tm): The Running Dog Game on: January 30, 2009, 11:39:09 AM
Dog Brothers Kali Tudo ™: The Running Dog Game---
Kali Silat vs. The Guard
By Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny

In 1998 there was a big internet brouhaha about “Where’s the trapping?” I always felt the question a fair one. As I wrote at the time:

“Lets us begin by avoiding overstating things. We need to remember that in the current environment that a lot of this stuff continues to work. When I was in Brazil in June 1992 I showed Renzo Gracie the video from Paul Vunak: "Headbutt, Elbow, Knees". I have the ringside video of Renzo’s next vale tudo fight in which he drills some guy he gets in the corner with this precisely this structure.

“It is also important to remember that MANY situations that one might be in are quite different from the cage. How many people would want to have to close on concrete against a guy with good fast savate feet in cowboy boots? Yeah, it can be done, but some of you are going to get seriously zipped in the bladder. A straight blast might get you through a barroom ruckus to the door better than a single leg takedown/side control/arm bar. Many bouncers and others with lots of experience swear by trapping. So in my opinion we should not get carried away with the "Where-is-the-trapping?" stuff.

“Still, there is a legitimate question in all this. Little of what we see today is the way it is taught in many Jun Fan/Wing Chun or Kali/FMA classes and , , , it is important to honestly raise this question.”

I also felt that the question had an answer—that the material was valid.

Allow me to begin my answer with an anology: In engineering, different types of strength are distinguished: compressive, tensile, shear, fatigue, etc. (I hope that any engineering people amongst our readers will be kind with any technical corrections of what follows.) My understanding is that compressive strength is the ability to bear weight. For example, you can put a lot of weight on concrete and it won't crumble. Tensile strength is the ability to withstand a pull. Think of the metal cables of a suspension bridge. Why aren't they made of concrete? The answer is that concrete has lousy tensile strength and easily snaps when tested in this way.

Against the fighting structures used in the 60s and early 70s JF/WC trapping structures worked. As Muay Thai came in this was less so. And as BJJ came in it seemed even less so. It is as if the BJJ question tested the tensile strength of concrete. Concrete is strong, but not in that way. The challenge, as I see it, is the equivalent of learning to put "rebar" (those metal rods that are laid out and tied together in a gridlike pattern) in concrete; something is need to provide tensile strength.

Before continuing, I’d like to clarify the terminology a bit. To my present way of thinking, “trapping” is simply a subset of Kali Silat striking and so for me the deeper question is where is the Kali Silat striking? We have heard the assertion of Kali and the other FMA that the motions of the empty hand are like the motions of the weapons—and again the infuriating question comes, “OK then, why is it not seen in the Cage?”

In my humble opinion, the answer is this. Although there are many people skilled in the drills and skills of the FMA (which are sometimes mocked as “tippy tap martial arts and crafts”) the key point is that most of them have never used these skills in the adrenal state. The only skills most people have used in the adrenal state are based upon boxing and Americanized Muay Thai tested in increasingly vigorous sparring that eventually becomes combat sport. Thus, it simply is no surprise that when they find themselves in a fight they use these skills and do not turn to their Kali Silat skill sets! In short, what we do, what we experience in the adrenal state is the deepest learning of all and as such it has a very strong tendency to supersede skills trained without adrenaline.

This also answers the question why I at fifty six years of age and counting I dare to seek to be someone who leads the way in establishing the validity of the Kali Silat idiom of fighting in the Cage. Of course the obvious logic is to leave it to some young lion to prove the theory with his deeds as Royce Gracie shocked the larger martial arts world with the advent of the UFC—I know that! The reason that in my humble opinion I remain relevant is that I HAVE hit people with sticks and these movements to me represent success in the adrenal state and I rely upon them in my own sparring. Combined with my many years of training under Guro Dan Inosanto (including as a private student) and other of the finest FMA, BJJ, and MMA teachers in the world, I believe this enables me to convey the necessary understandings to those who will actually step into the Cage.

Naturally the question arises whether any of our Kali Tudo ™ is relevant to those without extensive FMA type weaponry training and the answer is yes, but I must be candid. The mission statement of Dog Brothers Martial Arts is “To Walk as a Warrior for all your days”—and this means a lifelong path for the dangers of the real world, not just those of young male ritual hierarchical combat. This means we seek a system that uses the same underlying idioms of movement, regardless whether there are weapons and regardless of the numbers involved. This is precisely the point why Dog Brothers Martial Arts develops the subsystem of Kali Tudo ™ so we can use the same idiom of movement both with weapons AND empty hand AND to test our way of fighting empty hand in the adrenal state without concerns or pretensions that what we do is “too deadly for the cage”. In short, the highest levels of Kali Tudo are achieved by including weaponry training. There is no avoiding building the foundation. Those of you who put up the walls before thinking about putting in the wiring, when the sun of youth goes down you may find yourself in the dark. Conversely, those of you who put in the wiring without building sturdy walls and a watertight roof will may find yourself wet from a rain of blows , , ,

So how did “the Running Dog Game”, which is the subject of Kali Tudo ™ 2 come about and why is it the subject of the second DVD on this subsystem of ours?

In the aftermath of the aforementioned internet brouhaha of 1998, I began searching for my answers to the question presented. About two years later I had my first answer in something I called “The Running Dog Game”.

The RDG had its genesis in an unusual guard pass I learned from Renato Magno, BB in Machado BJJ, Pan Am BB Champion, and much more. In essence, it involves passing the guard, and perhaps snatching a foot lock, while running over the guard players head. Given my penchant for odd humor, I nicknamed the technique “the Running Dog” which in leftist-Marxist lexicon was a perceived calumny heaped upon the less powerful who benefited by aligning themselves with the capitalist class. It seemed humorous to me to embrace the insult of both my right wing “free minds and free markets” perspective and my doggy nature.

As I explored in the horizontal world of the ground how to best set up the Running Dog, I began to recognize reference points originally installed in my previously vertical Kali Silat (and Jun Fan Gung Fu) training. Very interesting! There were lots of successes, but also lots of getting arm-barred and lots of getting backswept. With further exploration, I developed “the Running Dog Posture” and developed a special exercise (which is shown in the DVD) to develop the physicality to maximize its capabilities.

So, in summary, what is the Running Dog Game? It is:

a) a way of standing up inside the Guard so as to establish the RD Posture

b) with the RD Posture established, the following options exist:

1) the signature move of the RD Game matrix: The RD pass over the head, either taking a foot or hip lock, or simply
standing up first and punting his head or taking controls from north-south. Typically the RD is facilitated by Kali Silat striking.

2) Kali Silat striking to knock out/TKO;

3) Kali Silat striking to “the Rico Kickover Heel Hook”;

4) Kali Silat striking to shucking the legs over to standard MMA type side control/knee on belly positions;

5) Kali Silat striking to shucking the legs over to Silat type leg attacks.

One of the key insights that opened my understanding was that a goodly part of the challenge of applying Kali Silat striking was facilitated by the fact that the because the Guard player had the ground behind him he found it much more difficult to move away from the traps, destructions, double timing and triplet timing strikes of Kali Silat. That is why this material is ideal for the second DVD covering our Kali Tudo subsystem—it is shockingly easy to apply against many people. Of course, nothing works against every one! Once this understanding is in place, the next step will be to apply it standing-- both in open range and clinch.

In 2000 I showed the RD Game to my backyard group (with drive by guest appearance by Top Dog) and filmed it as a “Vid-lesson” for instructors and private students of the DBMA Association. Some of this footage now appears in “KT2: The RD Game”. It was precisely because of the efficacy of the material that I held it back as a bit of a “secret weapon”. My reasons for changing my thinking in regard to secrecy are for a separate conversation on some other day. For the moment it suffices that in some regards my thinking has changed and that in September of 2008 I visited my good friend and hero Dogzilla and the Hawaii Clan of the Dog Brothers where we shot the current incarnation of the RD Game , , , as well as some other things that will appear in KT 3 and KT 4 wink

So there it is: DBMA Kali Tudo (tm): The Running Dog Game.

The Adventure continues!
Guro Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
 We hope to have "The Running Dog Game" out by the end of February.   We will be taking pre-orders soon!
25974  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Israeli Rabbinate severs ties with the Vatican on: January 30, 2009, 11:26:40 AM
Israel's Chief Rabbinate Severs Ties with Vatican - Ian Deitch (AP/Washington Post)
    Israel's chief rabbinate severed ties with the Vatican on Wednesday to protest a papal decision to reinstate Bishop Richard Williamson who publicly denied six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
    The Jewish state's highest religious authority sent a letter to the Holy See saying: "It will be very difficult for the chief rabbinate of Israel to continue its dialogue with the Vatican as before."

25975  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor: Turkey's pivot on: January 30, 2009, 11:02:18 AM
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan created a stir at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday with a lengthy condemnation of Israel’s recent actions in the Gaza Strip.

Erdogan’s speech was clearly prepared beforehand — read directly from papers he was holding — so this was no off-the-cuff comment that could be written off. And sitting right next to the Turkish prime minister the whole time was none other than Israeli President Shimon Peres. After Peres delivered a counterpoint, Erdogan went on what detractors would probably label a rant, which ended with a brief argument with the moderator about time limits before he abruptly walked off the stage, having said, “I do not think I will return to Davos.”

Back in Turkey, the response was mixed: Some were surprised by their leader’s actions, and some were thrilled to see him lambaste both Israel and the European elites at Davos. Indeed, it is a matter for debate both within and outside Turkey just where Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party are taking Turkish policy in the near future. There are those who see his bold criticisms of Israel as a clear bid to seize a leadership position for Islamic sentiment throughout the Middle East. Others see Turkey asserting itself in order to counter, or perhaps collaborate with, a resurgent Russia. Still others see Turkey pushing to join, or perhaps utterly reject, the European Union. The one thing that is clear is that Turkey is moving more assertively than it has in decades.

It has been almost 90 years since the world has seen Turkey as a place that projects any power on its own. Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Turks have been extremely insular, dabbling only rarely in events beyond their borders. Granted, Turkey was a key participant in the NATO alliance during the Cold War, given that it shared borders with the Middle East, Iran, the Soviet bloc (Bulgaria) and the Soviet Union itself. It has been a long time, however, since Turkey pursued an activist foreign policy — and most of the world has forgotten just what that means.

Turkey occupies on some of the most valuable real estate in the world. The Anatolian plateau is high and easily defensible, and as a peninsula it also supports a thriving maritime culture. Both are excellent assets for growing a successful state. But Turkey’s most important feature is its critical location. It sits astride the land routes connecting Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East — not to mention the straits connecting the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. It is the only country in the world that is positioned to project influence readily into all of these regions.

A deeper look reveals that the territory that comprises modern-day Turkey has been at or near the center of the human story for thousands of years. It was the home of the Hittite empire some 3,300 years ago, and afterward its Aegean coast was part of Classical Greece. Not only was Anatolia a key component of the Roman Empire, but Byzantium — based in what is now Istanbul — was Rome’s immediate political, cultural, religious and economic successor. That entity in turn was succeeded by the Ottomans, who crafted what was at the time the world’s greatest empire — which almost unilaterally enabled humanity to emerge from the Dark Ages, even at times conquering a good portion of what would eventually become Western civilization. For about half of the past two millennia, Anatolia has commanded the world’s most powerful economic and military forces.

The bottom line is this: Any time in human history that the Anatolian Peninsula has not been a leading force in geopolitics has been an aberration. The land that links Europe to the Eurasian steppe to the mountains of Asia to the Mediterranean basin and the deserts of Arabia is geographically destined to play a major role on the global stage. If the world has a pivot, it lies in Turkey.

And although the direction of its movement remains up for debate, Turkey — after more than 90 years of quiescence — is moving again.
25976  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Voter ID laws successful on: January 30, 2009, 08:39:17 AM
Remember the storm that arose on the political left after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Indiana's voter ID law last April? According to the left, voter ID was a dastardly Republican plot to prevent Democrats from winning elections by suppressing the votes of minorities, particularly African-Americans.

Since the election of Barack Obama, we haven't heard a word about such claims. On Jan. 14, the federal appeals court in Atlanta upheld Georgia's voter ID law.

The reasons for the silence about alleged voter suppression is plain. In the first place, numerous academic studies show that voter ID had no effect on the turnout of voters in prior elections. The plaintiffs in every unsuccessful lawsuit filed against such state requirements could not produce a single individual who didn't either already have an ID or couldn't easily get one.

Second are the figures emerging from the November election. If what liberals claimed was true, Democratic voters in states with strict photo ID requirements would presumably have had a much more difficult time voting, and their turnout dampened in comparison to other states. Well, that myth can finally be laid to rest.

The two states with the strictest voter ID requirements are Indiana and Georgia. Both require a government-issued photo ID. According to figures released by Prof. Michael McDonald of George Mason University, the overall national turnout of eligible voters was 61.6%, the highest turnout since the 1964 election.

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies (JCPES) found that black turnout in the 2008 election was at a historic high, having increased substantially from 2004. The total share of black voters in the national vote increased from 11% to 13% according to exit polls, with 95% of blacks voting for Mr. Obama.

So what happened in Georgia where the ACLU, the NAACP and other such groups claimed the state's photo ID law was intended to depress black turnout? According to figures released by Curtis Gans at American University, Georgia had the largest turnout in its history, with nearly four million voters. The Republican turnout was up only 0.22 percentage points; the Democratic turnout was up an astonishing 6.1 percentage points, rising from 22.66% of the eligible voting population to 28.74% of the eligible population.

The overall turnout in Georgia increased 6.7 percentage points from the 2004 election -- the second highest increase in turnout of any state in the country. According to the JCPES, the black share of the statewide vote increased in Georgia from 25% in the 2004 election, when the photo ID law was not in effect, to 30% in the 2008 election, when the photo ID law was in effect.

By contrast, the Democratic turnout in the neighboring state of Mississippi -- which has no voter ID requirement but also has a large black population similar to Georgia's -- increased by only 2.35 percentage points.

In Indiana, which the Supreme Court said had the strictest voter ID law in the country, the turnout of Democratic voters in the November election increased by 8.32 percentage points. That was the largest increase in Democratic turnout of any state in the country. The increase in overall turnout in Indiana was the fifth highest in the country, but only because the turnout of Republican voters actually went down 3.57 percentage points. The nearby state of Illinois (no photo ID requirement) had an increase in Democratic turnout of only 4.4 percentage points -- nearly half Indiana's increase.

Of course, the decline in Republican turnout and huge increase in Democratic turnout in Indiana matched what happened elsewhere, and explains why Mr. Obama won. Republican turnout nationwide declined 1.3 percentage points from the 2004 election, while Democratic turnout increased 2.6 percentage points.

The JCPES predicts that when the final turnout numbers are in for the 2008 election, black turnout will probably reach a historic high of almost 67% and likely surpass white turnout for the first time. All at a time when about half of the states have passed various forms of voter ID requirements, including two states with strict photo ID laws.

The claim that Republican legislatures in Georgia and Indiana passed voter ID to depress Democratic turnout is demonstrably false. But even if it were true, they obviously failed miserably to achieve that objective given the huge increases in Democratic and minority turnout in both states.

I guess liberals will now claim that their historic increases in turnout would have been even higher if not for voter ID laws. But that would be an absurd argument, given the states' performance in comparison to other states without voter ID laws.

With every election that has occurred since states have begun to implement voter ID, the evidence is overwhelming that it does not depress the turnout of voters. Indeed, it may actually increase the public's confidence that their votes will count.

That won't stop the ACLU or the League of Women Voters from filing more frivolous lawsuits against such state laws and continuing to waste taxpayer money. But ultimately they will lose, and our ability to protect the security and integrity of our elections will be preserved.

Mr. von Spakovsky, a visiting legal scholar at The Heritage Foundation, is a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission and a former Justice Department official.
25977  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Washington; Lincoln on: January 30, 2009, 08:36:16 AM
"The Citizens of America, placed in the most enviable condition, as the sole Lords and Proprietors of a vast Tract of Continent, comprehending all the various soils and climates of the World, and abounding with all the necessaries and conveniencies of life, are now by the late satisfactory pacification, acknowledged to be possessed of absolute freedom and Independency; They are, from this period, to be considered as the Actors on a most conspicuous Theatre, which seems to be peculiarly designated by Providence for the display of human greatness and felicity; Here, they are not only surrounded with every thing which can contribute to the completion of private and domestic enjoyment, but Heaven has crowned all its other blessings, by giving a fairer opportunity for political happiness, than any other Nation has ever been favored with. Nothing can illustrate these observations more forcibly, than a recollection of the happy conjuncture of times and circumstances, under which our Republic assumed its rank among the Nations."

--George Washington, Circular to the States, 8 June 1783

"If you gave me 6 hours to cut down a tree, I would spend the first four hours sharpening the ax." -- Abraham Lincoln
25978  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: January 30, 2009, 08:33:57 AM
U.S. Says Ex-Agent Passed Secrets to Russia From Jail

WASHINGTON -- A former Central Intelligence Agency official imprisoned for spying for Russia continued to pass information and collect money from his old handlers while behind bars, according to U.S. prosecutors.

Harold James Nicholson, 58 years old, used his 24-year-old son, Nathaniel, to restart contacts with Russian spies in Mexico, Peru and Cyprus, according to an indictment against father and son filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore. Both father and son were arraigned Thursday on charges of money laundering and acting as agents of a foreign government.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation agent's affidavit filed in court provides a spy-novel narrative from 2006 to 2008. U.S. officials claim Harold Nicholson tutored his son in spy tradecraft and Nathaniel Nicholson tried to hide his activities as he reached out to Russian contacts on trips abroad, buying his plane tickets with cash.

Prosecutors allege the elder Mr. Nicholson, who was serving a 23-year sentence, was seeking to recover money, and perhaps a "pension," that his Russian contacts owed him for past work, in order to help his financially struggling family. Even behind bars, Mr. Nicholson still held value to the Russians, who wanted to figure out how he was caught and how much U.S. investigators knew of Russian spying in the U.S., prosecutors say.

Harold Nicholson was a former CIA station chief in Malaysia and later worked as an instructor for trainees at the agency's Langley, Va., headquarters. He was convicted of espionage conspiracy under a plea agreement in 1997. Prosecutors say he gave Russian spies the identity of the CIA's Moscow station chief as well as information on new CIA trainees. Federal agents stopped him as he attempted to fly to Switzerland to hand over classified documents to agents for the SVR, the successor agency to the Soviet Union's KGB. He is the most senior CIA official ever convicted of spying for a foreign government.

Matthew G. Olsen, acting assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement that "these charges underscore the continuing threat posed by foreign intelligence services."

An attorney for the father and son couldn't be reached for a comment.

FBI agents monitored the father and son, using email and telephone wiretaps and tracking devices on the son's car to keep tabs on the 24-year-old's alleged spy activities, according to documents filed by prosecutors.

Along the way, the father offered proud words of encouragement to his son. A birthday card the father sent the son last year, according to prosecutors, read: "You have been brave enough to step into this new unseen world that is sometimes dangerous but always fascinating. God leads us on our greatest adventures. Keep looking through your new eyes. I understand you and me."

Federal agents stopped Nathaniel Nicholson as he returned from meeting contacts in Lima, Peru, in December 2007. Without telling him, the agents photocopied a notebook he carried that agents say contained coded notes about his alleged meetings with Russian spies. The notebook also contained instructions for a meeting he later had at a TGI Friday's restaurant in Nicosia, Cyprus, with a Russian contact, according to the FBI affidavit.

FBI agents monitoring an email account attributed to Nathaniel Nicholson said that in October 2008, he sent a coded email as instructed by his Russian contact, confirming an upcoming meeting in Cyprus.

The email, according to the FBI affidavit, read: "Hola Nancy! It is great to receive your message! I love you too. I hope to see you soon! The best regards from my brother Eugene! - Love Dick"

Prosecutors claim the son collected nearly $36,000 in trips overseas intended to help family members pay off debts. The father expressed hopes of relocating to Russia when he left prison, prosecutors say.

In one letter, the father sent physical data such as his height and weight to his son, and prosecutors think the information was to be used by the Russians to provide him travel documents upon his release.
25979  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: January 29, 2009, 10:32:24 PM
Now, now, play nicely please!


Please indulge my laziness in looking this up.  What does this mean?
25980  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DHS wants criminal aliens out?!? on: January 29, 2009, 07:52:05 PM

Homeland secretary wants criminal aliens out of US

By EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer
1 hr 12 mins ago

WASHINGTON – If you're a criminal and you're not entitled to be in the United States, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano wants you out of the country. Napolitano wants what she calls "criminal aliens" off American streets. She is looking at existing immigration enforcement programs to see if taxpayers are getting the most bang for their buck.

"That sounds very simple, but it's historically not been done," Napolitano said, speaking to reporters and senior Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials Thursday.
About 113,000 criminals who were in the U.S. illegally were deported last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. The agency estimates there are now as many as 450,000 criminals in federal, state and local detention centers who are in the country illegally.
Napolitano said she wants to improve data-sharing among local, state and federal facilities. So far, there are jails in 26 counties across the country with computer systems that can talk instantly with immigration systems.

The goal, Napolitano said, is for federal immigration officials to know whether an inmate is in the country illegally immediately after he is processed into a detention facility. After the criminal serves his or her sentence, immigration officials can be ready to deport that person right away.
ICE spokesman Richard Rocha said the agency plans to expand this connectivity to all state and local detention centers over the next four years.

Napolitano, whose job includes overseeing immigration laws, says she also will go after criminal fugitives who are in the country illegally.
25981  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: January 29, 2009, 06:17:58 PM
Unless I'm missing something, missing from your discussion is the distinction between equal pay for the SAME work, and the government/courts/lawyers/bureaucracies deciding what is COMPARABLE.
25982  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / You say stop, I say go, hello, goodbye, hello on: January 29, 2009, 02:16:58 PM
Guantanamo judge refuses Obama's request for delay


MIAMI (Reuters) – The chief judge for the Guantanamo war crimes court on Thursday refused U.S. President Barack Obama's request to delay proceedings against a prisoner charged with plotting an attack that killed 17 U.S. sailors.

This could force the Pentagon to withdraw the charges, though they could be refiled later if the Obama administration decides to keep the special tribunals at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The White House said it was consulting with the Pentagon and the Department of Justice on how to respond, said spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Hours after taking office last week, Obama ordered Guantanamo prosecutors to seek 120-day delays in all pending cases to give his administration time to decide whether to scrap the widely criticized tribunals created by the Bush administration to try suspected terrorists outside the regular U.S. court system.

But the judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, said the law underpinning the tribunals gives the presiding judges sole authority to delay cases. He ruled that postponing proceedings against Abd al Rahim al Nashiri was not reasonable and "does not serve the interest of justice."

Nashiri is charged with conspiring with al Qaeda to crash an explosives-laden boat against the side of the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in 2000. The attack killed 17 U.S. sailors and Nashiri would face execution if convicted. His arraignment was set for February 9.  Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Obama's executive order freezing the trials, which are formally known as military commissions, would guide the Defense Department's actions.

"This department will be in full compliance with the president's executive order. There's no ifs, ands or buts about that," Morrell told reporters. "While that executive order is in force and effect, trust me that there will be no proceedings continuing down at Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay) with military commissions."

The military judge, however, noted that Obama directed in his order that it "shall be implemented consistent with applicable law" and the 2006 law authorizing the trials was still applicable.

Military prosecutors and defense lawyers both supported delaying the case, arguing that Obama's pending decision on what to do with Guantanamo could render the proceedings moot. Obama has ordered the prison closed by this time next year.
Morrell said it appeared to be up to Susan Crawford, the Pentagon appointee overseeing the Guantanamo trials, to resolve the matter. She could withdraw the charges without prejudice, allowing them to be refiled again later.
Charges are pending against 21 Guantanamo prisoners, though Crawford has only referred 14 cases to trial. Judges have issued orders freezing the proceedings in six of those.
25983  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 29, 2009, 12:56:38 PM
The Left Angeles Times is very much a part of the political ecosystem in which I live and it torments me on a regular basis, thank you very much  tongue  cheesy
25984  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Washington; Lincoln on: January 29, 2009, 12:22:50 PM
If we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war. -- George Washington

‘‘We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.’’
— Abraham Lincoln
25985  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 29, 2009, 12:21:44 PM
AT PRESENT that may be true, but over time the trend line is unfavorable.
25986  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Entitlement Stimulus on: January 29, 2009, 12:15:55 PM
The more we dig into the pile of spending and tax favors known as the "stimulus bill," the more amazing discoveries we make. Namely, Democrats have apparently decided that the way to gun the economy is to spend even more on health care.

This is notable because if there has been one truly bipartisan idea in Washington, it's that the U.S. as a whole spends too much on health care. President Obama has been talking up entitlement reform as a way to free up the money for his other social priorities. But it turns out that Congress is using the stimulus as cover for a massive expansion of federal entitlements.

Only the bill's $20 billion or so devoted to electronic health records can be reasonably called an investment. More typical is the $87 billion that will go to Medicaid, which -- silly us -- we underestimated by about $6 billion in our stimulus editorial yesterday. This pot of money will be used to blow out the federal matching rate by 4.9 percentage points across the board. Medicaid is nominally a joint state-federal program, but the feds pick up 57% of the Medicaid bill on average and are willing to go as high as 82% in some states. In other words, Democrats want to bail out the states that make unaffordable health-care promises and haven't tried to control costs. This latest rescue will give Governors more incentive to do so, given that the more they spend, the more Congress pays.

National taxpayers will also fund a new program allowing some laid-off workers receiving unemployment checks to enroll in Medicaid. For the first time ever on a large scale, the federal government will pay 100% of the costs they incur, and states are explicitly prohibited from means-testing this benefit. Supposedly the $11 billion plan will expire in 2010, but the word "temporary" does not exist in the entitlement world -- and Democrats will fight furiously to extend these benefits before they sunset.

Another damaging inspiration is the plan to throw $30.3 billion at Cobra insurance plans. The unemployed are currently allowed to keep their work health benefits for 18 or 36 months since 1986. While they search for a new job, they must pay 102% of the full insurance premium, including the employer's share. But Democrats now plan to subsidize these plans to the tune of 65%.

Are they making Cobra a new entitlement? Cobra was never intended as an option to assist the long-term unemployed -- considering that adverse selection means Cobra enrollees cost businesses about 145% as much as covered employees. Since Democrats want to boost participation by propping up Cobra use, that will result in less capital to invest in new jobs in the middle of a recession. It will also mean adding another disincentive (in addition to unemployment insurance) to get a new job. When you subsidize people not to work, you get more nonworkers.

Not for nothing did Democratic heath-care commissar Pete Stark tell the New York Times that "We accomplished more today than in the last eight years" after his committee approved the Medicaid and Cobra pieces of the stimulus. In one swoop Democrats will make employer-sponsored health care even more expensive and expand opportunities for an anxious public to join, or remain on, the welfare rolls. The pretext of "stimulus" is being leveraged to capture ever more of the private health-care market and transfer those costs onto government.

But don't forget that everyone agrees that health spending is already too high. So the stimulus also devotes $1.1 billion to create a new bureaucracy called the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. A billion dollars isn't nearly enough to conduct the rigorous clinical studies needed to provide more information on what medical treatments result in the best outcomes. But Democrats want to get this "health-care Fed" on the books now so it's around when they pass the next entitlement expansion -- for the entire middle class.

When government finances start to buckle under that subsidy, the comparative effectiveness outfit will start to ration care to control costs, much like the United Kingdom's National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). The draft report accompanying the House portion of the bill notes that procedures and drugs "that are found to be less effective and in some cases, more expensive, will no longer be prescribed."

In sum, what we are really getting in this stimulus bill are several more steps in the gradual government takeover of the health-care market.
25987  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 29, 2009, 11:54:31 AM
Tis rare to find so much specious reasoning packed in so little space.
25988  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor: New Phase? on: January 29, 2009, 11:49:47 AM
Geopolitical Diary: A New Phase in U.S.-Russian Relations?
January 29, 2009 | 0051 GMT
Russia has suspended its plans to deploy Iskander short-range ballistic missiles to its Kaliningrad enclave because the new U.S. administration is “not rushing through” with plans to establish a missile shield in central Europe, Interfax reported Wednesday, citing an unnamed Russian military official. The same day, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos that, though it carried many well-worn anti-Western themes, ended with Putin wishing the new U.S. administration well — a shift from his scathing words for Barack Obama before the inauguration.

These two statements appear to signal a momentary easing of tensions between Moscow and Washington. More importantly, they show that Russia is trying to feel out the contours of the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev had announced the plans to deploy missiles to Kaliningrad — a tiny Russian enclave sandwiched between Poland and the Baltic states — on Nov. 5, the day after Obama’s election. The timing of that announcement (which was intentionally delayed to coincide with the election) was a pointed signal that Moscow would not pull any punches with the incoming administration. There has been some question over the status of Iskander missile production and deployment, and it is still not clear whether a unit even exists that is trained, equipped and prepared to deploy to Kaliningrad — but the announcement itself marked a deliberate escalation of tensions between Russia and the United States.

Those tensions had already been growing for several years. When Putin took power as president in 1999, his goal was to restore Russia to some semblance of its former prominence as a global power, after the free-fall of the 1990s. A major component of his plan involved keeping the United States out of Russia’s way – and especially out of the former Soviet region, which Moscow still considered its own proper sphere of influence. Thus, when George W. Bush took office in 2001, Putin attempted to form a close bond with his administration in order to win support and recognition of that sphere of influence. For example, Putin was the first world leader to call Bush following the 9/11 attacks, and Moscow offered to (and did) assist Washington in the ensuing war in Afghanistan.

But whatever amity there may have been did not last long. While Russia continued to claw its way back from its post-Soviet nadir, the United States pushed back in 2004 by supporting the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the eastward expansion of the NATO alliance. From Russia’s perspective, these actions were a betrayal. By the time Putin and Bush had entered their second terms, it was clear that a geopolitical standoff reminiscent of the Cold War had begun to form. Last year, frictions went beyond mere rhetoric, with Russia’s war against U.S.-allied Georgia and Washington’s signing of missile defense deals with Poland and the Czech Republic.

Now different men hold the two presidencies — Medvedev took the helm in Moscow in 2008 and Obama was inaugurated just over a week ago — but the question remains whether anything fundamental has changed. Russian leaders may have not liked what Bush did, but they at least felt they understood him. Obama, only a few days into his administration, remains an unknown quantity from Moscow’s point of view.

In Russia, the change of administration did not mean a change in policy — effectively, the Putin regime remains in place. By the same token, Moscow did not take Obama’s campaign pledge of “change” seriously, and leaders there have not expected any kind of rapprochement to follow his inauguration. Indeed, Putin made it quite clear in the days before Obama’s inauguration that the United States has a lot of work to do if it wants to regain Russia’s trust any time soon — or ever.

But the Kremlin is now beginning to rethink its position. The government in Moscow does not trust Obama, but it does recognize that Obama needs the Russians. He has pledged to expand the war in Afghanistan — but with NATO supply routes in Pakistan under serious threaten, Washington needs another route into that theater – and the most readily available routes pass either through Russia proper or through former Soviet territories.

And so U.S.-Russian relations are at a pivotal point. Russia is trying to figure out the new American administration, to see whether it is willing to make concessions in exchange for help on the Afghan issue. On that front, Washington is sending mixed signals. Obama has stated that he wants to rethink missile defense in Europe — a key condition for any deal with Russia — and has said in general terms that he wants to redefine NATO, certainly an interesting possibility from Moscow’s perspective. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said, however, that the redefinition of NATO would involve clearing up arms-reduction treaties with Russia and that the United States would focus on achieving energy security for Europe (meaning helping the Europeans find alternatives to Russian supplies). Both moves potentially threaten some of Russia’s greatest means of leverage.

In this context, the announcement that Russia is putting off the Kaliningrad missile deployment could mean one of two things.

First, it could be a tentative gesture designed to sound out the new administration. The early days of the Obama presidency are an opportunity for Russia to find out how serious Obama and his team really are. The U.S. push to establish new supply routes to Afghanistan is proceeding too quickly for Russia to wait — so Moscow could be floating a trial balloon and watching for the response, while actively attempting to shape the new administration’s behavior. In “pulling back” its deployment plans for the Iskander, Russia could be creating an opening for the United States to respond in kind. However, Moscow has chosen its opening gambit carefully: If there is no reciprocation, the deployment can move ahead – and the missiles would directly threaten U.S. ballistic missile defense installations in Poland once they are built.

The other possible explanation for Russia’s announcement could be that the United States already has made an offer behind the scenes. Talks occurred on the sidelines of the informal Jan. 26-27 Russia-NATO Council meeting in Brussels. This was an ambassador-level meeting, though Russian envoy Dmitri Rogozin did hint at a possible arrangement in the works. On the first day of the talks, Rogozin blasted Washington for wanting to use former Soviet territory for shipments to Afghanistan, but he changed his tune on the second day, saying there was a possibility the United States and Russia could strike a deal. This could indicate that a preliminary deal has, in fact, already been struck. If so, the Kaliningrad discussion and Putin’s comments, both of which came soon after, could have been a gesture to show Moscow’s genuine interest in negotiating.

This does not mean Russia could not change its mind once again on Kaliningrad. Provided that the missiles are built and there is a crew in place that can operate them, it is simply a question of deployment. Russia will not commit itself to any concessions recklessly, but it appears the Russians are opening a door for Washington to prove that change, indeed, has come.
25989  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / WSJ: Keith Jarrett on: January 29, 2009, 11:26:30 AM
Oxford, N.J.

The pond outside Keith Jarrett's home in rural New Jersey is frozen over. Inside the jazz pianist's 18th-century farmhouse, life appears similarly suspended. An expectant silence reverberates against the walls of vinyl LPs, CD boxes spilling off sofas, towers of stereo equipment bristling with cables. Next door, in the converted barn that houses Mr. Jarrett's recording studio, a pair of Steinways and two harpsichords cower under black quilted covers.

In the weeks leading up to a solo improvised concert, Mr. Jarrett retreats into creative solitude to empty his mind. More than 30 years since his first fully improvised solo album, "Facing You," he continues to be the only pianist to offer evening-long concerts of music created out of nothing. He records every such concert, preferring a recording to any attempt to notate and transcribe his music. The recordings thus become the authoritative source for his "compositions." Tonight, he will play at Carnegie Hall, his first North American solo appearance in more than three years. How does he prepare for such a tightrope act?

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Listen to clips from Keith Jarrett's 2005 solo concert at Carnegie Hall:

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A Jazz Night to Remember: The unique magic of Keith Jarrett's 'The Köln Concert' (10/11/08)Listen to a clip of Keith Jarrett's "The Köln Concert," Part 2c Mr. Jarrett, his closely cropped silver hair offset by an all-black outfit, frowns. "Imagine an archer preparing for a shot before the target shows up," he says. "He's just aiming at where he suspects there may possibly be a target." In the run-up to his 2005 solo concert at Carnegie Hall, he read fiction by New York writer Nick Tosches and thought about Charles Ives and Carl Ruggles, composers, as he puts it, "who did their thorny stuff, their spiky music which we can begin to call American classical music."

This time, there is little deliberate preparation beyond playing a lot of Bach to "keep his fingers going." But Mr. Jarrett, who is known for hectoring audiences who cough too much, looks forward to playing again for a New York crowd.

"When you're on stage you have a very strange knowledge of what the audience is. It isn't exactly a sound -- it's a hum, like the streets. New York is such a microcosm of the world, and so independent-minded, that I have a kind of trust with them. You can feel that they just want me on stage and then they don't know what's going to happen. It's more like playing for other 'me's' in the audience."

The format of Mr. Jarrett's solo concerts has changed since he returned to them after an illness-induced hiatus in the 1990s. While his improvisations often used to last as long as 40 minutes, Mr. Jarrett now allows each musical idea to find its shape -- even if the result is a three-minute miniature. Recent solo concerts have consisted of as many as 10 musically distinct pieces that range from lyrical blues to jaggedly dissonant knots of fast notes.

"Some of those languages come up just because my hands are in a certain place," he says. "One of the great things about paying money is that maybe you stay there a few minutes longer and you might get to see something being built in front of your eyes. If a person plays dissonance long enough it will sound like consonance. It's a language that was alien and then it's less and less alien as it continues to live. After a while, it's like saying, goddammit, it finally makes sense."

Whether the resulting music can still be called jazz is of little concern to Mr. Jarrett. "It has the tendency to be anything it wants to be. My music education and listening has been so broad that it doesn't sound categorizable to me either. Obviously it gets into jazz territory -- and then it gets out of it again." But while Mr. Jarrett can draw on a wide knowledge of Western music, and an impressive catalog of recording and performing the classical repertoire, he has no desire to return to "that nervous, jittery, get-into-emotion-on-bar-151" world.

As he sees it, moving from the interpretation-based world of classical music to the improvisational one of jazz requires a radical shift that can shake the foundations of self. When he performed a lot of Mozart in the '80s, he says, "I wasn't playing anything other than Mozart. I had to become another person." And, he adds, "to teach a classical musician to improvise is almost more impossible than to teach an accountant or a plumber to improvise."

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Ken Fallin"I once had a conversation with Vladimir Ashkenazy. We were on a cruise with the English Chamber Orchestra and I gave him a tape with some of my improvisations. When he had listened to it, he said, 'How do you play all the right notes?' I said, 'No, you see they just become the right notes by virtue of their environment.' Then he said, 'I'd love to be able to improvise but I know I'd need so much time to get into the right headspace to do that.' Of course, he didn't use the word 'headspace.' But he knew he'd have to shut everything down. From where they are you can't get to the improvisation and have it be you, because you've been trained outside of yourself.

"If you're improvising and you finish a concert and you're changed forever, that's different from finishing any kind of classical concert, no matter how good. The reason you can't be physically, cellularly changed is it did not come through you. The music was already there."

Still, there are clues to Mr. Jarrett's classical ventures in almost every aspect of his art, from the musical idioms he employs to his near-obsessive concern with matters of touch, color and sonority. Many have written -- and complained -- about his physical relationship with his instrument, the tortured positions he gets into while playing, and the moans and groans that escape him. But Mr. Jarrett says that what some see as an almost sexual relationship with the piano is really one marked by struggle.

"I'm never trying to get it to sound just like a piano. I'm trying to find every possible way to make it either a voice or an instrument that is unlike a Western instrument. You know, it can't be a guitar but I wish it was; it can't be an orchestra but I wish it was. So the rebellion that I'm faced with immediately upon sitting down at a piano is that it is a piano. And I can turn cartwheels -- it's not going to make any difference. But what I can do is try to almost fool the instrument into becoming something else."

The irony is that the painful contortions and ecstatic moans that some critics find so distracting are the effect of his efforts to get out of the way of the music and to channel what he calls a "transformation of energy." And it is this intensity that he brings to each moment on stage that ultimately roots him in jazz.

"If I'm not a jazz player all the time, I've at least been cued in to what I do by jazz. Because people needed to survive, they were in the cotton fields and they sang because otherwise they would not be able to handle their lives at all. If you play music from that same position, then what you have at stake is your own survival. Which is really what I've been saying about solo improvisation for 30 years: It's dangerous as hell because if you fail you feel like committing suicide."

Ms. da Fonseca-Wollheim is a writer living in New York.
25990  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Suppliments: Legal and Illegal on: January 29, 2009, 11:14:03 AM
Have you considered good nutrition and sleep?

This is where you claim the benefits of your workouts.  If you don't allow for rebuilding, you will just be running yourself down.
25991  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Rest in Peace RIP R.I.P. on: January 29, 2009, 11:12:16 AM
Helio Gracie is Dead:

 Helio Gracie : Dead at 95 years
"The day on January 29 morning more sad for lovers of art soft. Creator of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu along with his brother Carlos, Master Hélio Gracie, who had completed 95 years in 2008, died in Rio de Janeiro. The tatami not have details about the death of the Master, but the death is confirmed."

RIP Helio

in english vis a vis google translator:
25992  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 29, 2009, 11:09:08 AM

Many good points being made.  I would add the example of the green houses that Israel left behind in Gaza being destroyed.

@ Huss:

I submit Turkey as an example of Islamic culture and democracy co-existing.  Indonesia too-- at least for now.

@ NKD:

I fear I have not succeeded in conveying my point-- I supported and support the Osirak operation.  My concern is that by placing missiles and rockets of ever greater efficacy on Israel's northern and southwestern borders that Iran is creating a situation wherein if Israel goes Osirak on Iran that Iran will be in a position to blow up Israel's reactor and contaminate Israel.
25993  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 29, 2009, 12:44:27 AM
 shocked shocked shocked cry cry cry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry
25994  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Indonesia: Islamist Contortions on: January 29, 2009, 12:14:02 AM
For those who wonder what problems corruption-ridden and disaster-plagued Indonesia must tackle most urgently, the Indonesian Council of Ulema has the answer: yoga.

On Monday, the Council, a quasi-official grouping of 700 Islamic clerics, decreed that Muslims should shun the ancient Indian practice. The clerics worry that Hindu-influenced chants and invocations might weaken Muslim believers' faith. The decree, though not legally binding, carries the force of moral authority, and, as is not uncommon in the Muslim world, the unspoken threat of enforcement by vigilantes.

The Council's decision was not entirely unprecedented. Malaysia's National Fatwa Council issued a similar ban last November. Nonetheless, it comes as a reminder of the challenges the world's most populous Muslim-majority country faces as it struggles to nurture a fledgling democracy in the face of the increasingly undemocratic demands of fundamentalist Islam.

To be sure, Indonesia is no Saudi Arabia. The majority of the country's Muslims -- 88% of its 235 million people -- practice a gentle folk Islam infused with elements of the archipelago's long Animist-Hindu-Buddhist past. The country's constitution is nonsectarian. Overt legal discrimination against non-Muslims, the cornerstone of government policy in neighboring Malaysia, is rare. Most people live in harmony.

But in recent years, Indonesian fundamentalists -- including hardline clerics, politicians from the Prosperous Justice Party and vigilante groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front -- have grown increasingly assertive. These groups don't always agree with each other on tactics, but have broadly similar worldviews. They have spearheaded the persecution of the minority Ahmadiyya Muslim community, the passage of a so-called antipornography bill that encourages vigilantism and discriminates against non-Muslim cultures, and a regulation that forces Christian schools to offer religious instruction on Islam.

Put bluntly, Islamic fundamentalism puts a crimp on Indonesia's otherwise impressive democratic flowering. It's at odds with individual rights, freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. In a mature democracy, you wouldn't find a government body called the Coordinating Board for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs in Society outside the pages of a novel. In Indonesia, it helps the government determine which groups are labeled "heretical" or "deviant."

After two successful national elections since the end of Suharto's 32-year-reign in 1998 -- and with another due this year -- Indonesians are justifiably proud of having mastered the processes of democracy. But the gains may be chimerical unless they can defend their ability to publicly scrutinize, criticize -- and, if necessary, mock -- bad ideas that come from Islam as readily as those drawn from a political manifesto.

Since the 1970s, Indonesian Islam has been stripped of its legendary tolerance toward other faiths by a combination of rapid urbanization, compulsory religious education in government schools, and the efforts of Middle Eastern and homegrown purifiers of the faith. In recent years, this Arabization of Indonesian Islam has gathered pace as globalization has brought the religious and political discourse (often indistinguishable from each other) of Riyadh and Tehran to Jakarta. Reminded daily that they are recipients of God's final revelation, a large minority of Muslims -- perhaps between 10% and 15% -- embrace the fundamentalist notion that the cause of their backwardness lies not in a failure to embrace modernity but in a failure to fully embrace their faith. Many more, while not full-blown fundamentalists themselves, are broadly sympathetic to these ideas.

Indonesia's fundamentalists have shown themselves to be better motivated and better organized than their opponents. Weak or sympathetic politicians (including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono), courts and police allow them to use violence or the threat of violence to control the public square -- by driving Playboy magazine out of Jakarta, or by attacking secular nationalists at a high-profile rally for religious freedom. Meanwhile cultural norms put any public criticism of Islam out of bounds. Hardliners can be chided for distorting the faith, but an unspoken code of self-censorship ensures that no one ever questions the faith itself. The kind of robust debate between believers and unbelievers that marks most democracies is notable for its absence in Indonesia.

To put this in perspective, consider that Indians are free to debate the caste-centered and sexist aspects of Hindu scripture. The Spaniard who believes in contraception and gay rights can flatly declare that he doesn't care what the Bible says or what the Pope thinks. But an Indonesian who publicly expresses similar sentiments about the Quran or the prophet Muhammad immediately invites threats of violence.

This constrained national discourse cedes fundamentalists the moral high ground, a crucial advantage in this battle of ideas. Unless Indonesians can find a way to broaden the debate, to allow purely secular and even antireligious arguments to set up stall in the public square, they should not be surprised to find themselves in a land where clerics set the agenda, both in yoga class and outside it.

Mr. Dhume is a Washington-based writer and the author of "My Friend the Fanatic: Travels With a Radical Islamist" (Skyhorse Publishing, May 2009).

25995  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Nicaragua on: January 28, 2009, 11:58:28 PM
Geopolitical Diary: Nicaragua and the Basis of Ortega's Power
El 28 de enero de 2009

El Presidente nicaragüense Daniel Ortega puede estar enfermo y es considerado confiando mucho en su mujer, Rosario Murillo, informes de noticias que el martes surgido dijo, citando declaraciones de un sacerdote, Ernesto Cardenal. Según Cardenal, Ortega tiene una enfermedad de sangre que requiere él evitar el sol y realizar la mayor parte de sus asuntos de noche. Stratfor no tiene confirmación independiente de esta alegación y no tiene razón verdadera para creer Cardenal, que es un crítico de Ortega. Ciertamente hay las enfermedades (como porfirismo) eso puede causar que sus víctimas eviten el sol. (Casualmente, algunos creen que estas enfermedades pueden haber ocasionado las leyendas de vampiros y hombres lobo).

Típicamente, doblaríamos no tanto como una ceja en noticias de la salud declinante de un líder de un estado como pequeño y estado desesperadamente pobre como Nicaragua — No porque somos despiadados, pero porque individuos pueden raramente tomar medidas que sube al nivel de significado geopolítico. Gran presidentes y los líderes inspiradores son forzados en todo el mundo enormemente por las instituciones que los apoyan, la geografía que los rodea y los recursos que últimamente forman su capacidad para la acción. Sin embargo, hay unas pocas situaciones en las que individuos pueden tomar papeles desproporcionadamente significativos. Y porque Nicaragua – aunque uno de los estados más pobres en el Hemisferio Occidental — Ha servido como una pezonera para el control de América Central desde que su principio, Ortega es un ejemplo que hace al caso.

Estados Unidos ha tomado gran interés en Nicaragua con el paso de los años. En 1912, ocupó el país en el nombre de estabilizar el gobierno allí. EEUU fuerza sacó en 1933 después de años de rebeldes luchadores de Sandinista. Washington entonces apoyó el Somoza el régimen familiar que tuvo el poder de 1936 a 1979. Bajo ese régimen, el Sandinista Frente Nacional de Liberación (FSLN) renovó rebeliones y, dirigido por Ortega, se hizo con el poder finalmente en 1979. El gobierno izquierdista se alió inmediatamente con Cuba y la Unión Soviética. Estados Unidos entonces empezó financiando el “contra” rebelión para desarzonar el Sandinistas. Ellos fueron quitados del poder, pero no por una rebelión: El FSLN fue rechazado en 1990. Se encrespó para enchufar atrás con la reelección de Ortega en 2006 (después de tres ofertas fracasadas). Desde entonces, Ortega ha encarado acusaciones graves, como alegaciones que él persiguió a sus adversarios políticos resultados totales y manipuló de elecciones municipales. El descontento con su regla ha llevado a desestabilizar disturbios en el corazón de Nicaragua, con elementos de profesional-oposición y partidarios de Ortega que chocan violentamente.

Es difícil de decir cómo este período actual de desestabilización jugará fuera, pero hay dos lecciones clave de tomar de esta historia breve. Primero, el país está extraordinariamente prono a períodos de la inestabilidad de guerrillero-dirigió yuxtapuso con períodos del despotismo. El segundo, la posición de Nicaragua en el istmo que separa Norte y Sudamérica crea una amenaza estratégica potencial a Estados Unidos.

En el primer punto, el factor más importante que ha hecho Nicaragua prona a tanto la rebelión como el autoritarismo son su geografía. La mayor parte de la población es concentrada por la costa occidental, donde tierra fértil y lluvia segura compensan las tendencias de la región hacia el volcanismo y terremotos. El territorio restante es dividido entre selvas, las montañas y la Costa caribe de Mosquito. Las tierras vírgenes relativamente vastas del territorio nicaragüense proporcionan suelo fértil para la concepción de movimientos persistentes de guerrillero para desafiar a líderes que bien-atrincheran en Managua. Sin embargo, con la mayor parte de la población concentrada en una pequeña área, es vulnerable a la dominación por cualquiera controlando a gobernante.

De ahí que el líder individual sea mucho más importante en Nicaragua que en muchos otros países. Con muy pocos centros de población para controlar, el país bastante puede ser dominado bien por un solo político. Y Ortega, habiendo vuelto a enchufar, haber utilizado su posición de aprovecharse de aspecto geográfico más pertinente de Nicaragua: la proximidad a Estados Unidos.

Ortega no sólo se ha declarado que un aliado de Rusia por reconocer oficialmente la independencia de escapada las regiones georgianas Abjazia y Ossetia del sur, pero de él también ha dado la bienvenida a Irán en una asociación de trabajo. Y él ha sido implicado a ayudar las Fuerzas armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia. Estas relaciones no podrían ser diseñadas para dar mejor Estados Unidos acidez. Para Rusia, que busca un resurgimiento de bajo nivel de influencia en Iberoamérica por primera vez desde que la Guerra Fría, la asociación con Ortega presta la posibilidad concreta de basar operaciones de inteligencia en la tierra nicaragüensa y el beneficio más político de hacer su presencia sentía en el traspatio de EEUU. Más siniestro, sin embargo, puede ser la relación de Ortega con Irán, que podría dar iraní Apoyó militantes de Hezbolá una base sólida de operaciones en la región. De hecho, Robert Puertas de Ministro de Defensa de EEUU indicaron el martes que Estados Unidos considera a Irán para ser mucha más amenaza en Iberoamérica que Rusia.

Fueron Nicaragua y su geografía situados en otra parte en el mundo, Ortega no tendría la capacidad de ofrecer los servicios de su país a tales aliados internacionales. Pero a causa de la posición del país — la América Central que cabalga — Ortega es posicionado extraordinariamente esgrimir su pequeña influencia con efecto sorprendente.

25996  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 28, 2009, 09:18:41 PM
This is a really important question, so lets make sure we aren't missing anything.

a) Concerning the seemingly pertinent example that Huss uses of the House of Saud, as Stratfor commented earlier today (or was it yesterday?) on the intel thread, SA has kicked AQ's ass in SA.  WHY IS THAT?  Once we removed our troops from SA (their presence no longer being necessary to defend it from SH in Iraq) their motivations changed.  WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?

b) As noted in many posts made by several of us, there has been a lot of one handed clapping in support of Hamas/Gaza.  WHY IS THAT?  Indeed, many felt that during Lebanon 2 a lot of the Arab world was silently wishing for Israeli success.  WHY?

c) As noted in the Iraq thread by my friend in Iraq, who originally opposed the decision to go to Iraq, he sees the Iraqis themselves as having rejected the AQ whackos.  WHAT DOES THAT TELL US? 

Capt raises an important question.  Certainly HUSS answered well, but let us be careful that we do not answer too quickly.
25997  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 28, 2009, 07:10:15 PM
Looking forward to the conversation on this  cool
25998  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / House of Dhimmi Lords on: January 28, 2009, 06:28:45 PM
Muslims in the Lords

From the desk of Thomas Landen on Mon, 2009-01-26 11:16

The House of Lords is a venerable British institution, but what does one get if one accepts Muslims in? This:

A member of the Lords intended to invite her colleagues to a private meeting in a conference room in the House of Lords to meet the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an elected member of the Dutch parliament, to watch his controversial movie Fitna and discuss the movie and Mr. Wilders’ opinions with him.

Barely had the invitation been sent to all the members of the House when Lord Ahmed raised hell. He threatened to mobilize 10,000 Muslims to prevent Mr. Wilders from entering the House and threatened to take the colleague who was organizing the event to court. The result is that the event, which should have taken place next Thursday was cancelled.

Lord Ahmed immediately went to the Pakistani press to boast about his achievement, which he calls “a victory for the Muslim community.”

A victory for the Muslim community, but a defeat for British democracy where topics to which Muslims object cannot even be debated. That, apparently, is what one gets when one accepts Muslims into the House of Lords.

Lord Ahmed is considered to be a “moderate” Muslim. The Pakistani born Nazir Ahmed became the United Kingdom’s first Muslim life peer in 1998. He is a member of the Labour Party and was appointed to the Lords by Tony Blair. Lord Ahmed took his oath on the Koran. He led one of the first delegations on behalf of the British Government on the Muslim pilgrimage of the Hajj, to Saudi Arabia. In February 2005, Lord Ahmed hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for anti-Zionist author Israel Shamir. In 2007, he responded to the award of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie by stating that he was appalled, saying that Rushdie had “blood on his hands.”

Lord Ahmed was among the founders of The World Forum, an organization set up “to promote world peace in the aftermath of 9/11 with an effort to build bridges of understanding between The Muslim World and the West by reviving a tradition of Dialogue between people, cultures and civilizations based on tolerance.”

What does “dialogue” mean to those who make discussion about controversial issues impossible? Thank you, Mr. Blair, for bringing “diversity” to the House of Lords.
25999  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: January 28, 2009, 06:22:56 PM
More on the CIA rape charge:,2933,484487,00.html

Exclusive: CIA Station Chief in Algeria Accused of Rapes
"Ugly American"? Spy Boss Allegedly Drugged Muslim Women, Made Secret Sex Videos

January 28, 2009—

The CIA's station chief at its sensitive post in Algeria is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for allegedly raping at least two Muslim women who claim he laced their drinks with a knock-out drug, U.S. law enforcement sources tell ABC News.

The suspect in the case is identified as Andrew Warren in an affidavit for a search warrant filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. by an investigator for the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service.

Click here to read the affidavit.

Watch "World News with Charles Gibson" TONIGHT at 6:30 p.m. ET for the full report.

Officials say the 41-year old Warren, a convert to Islam, was ordered home by the U.S. Ambassador, David Pearce, in October after the women came forward with their rape allegations in September.

According to the affidavit, the two women "reported the allegations in this affidavit independently of each other."

The affidavit says the first victim says she was raped by Warren in Sept. 2007 after being invited to a party at Warren's residence by U.S. embassy employees.

She told a State Department investigator that after Warren prepared a mixed drink of cola and whiskey, she felt a "violent onset of nausea" and Warren said she should spend the night at his home.

When she woke up the next morning, according to the affidavit, "she was lying on a bed, completely nude, with no memory of how she had been undressed." She said she realized "she recently had engaged in sexual intercourse, though she had no memory of having intercourse."

According to the affidavit, a second alleged victim told a similar story, saying Warren met her at the U.S. embassy and invited her for a "tour of his home" where she said he prepared an apple martini for her "out of her sight."

The second victim said she suddenly felt faint and went to the bathroom where "V2 [victim 2] could see and hear, but she could not move," the affidavit says.

She told investigators Warren "was attempting to remove V2's her pants." The affidavit states, "Warren continued to undress V2, and told her she would feel better after a bath."

Alleged Rape Victims Tell Their Stories to Investigators

The alleged victim said she remembers being in Warren's bed and asking him to stop, but that "Warren made a statement to the effect of 'nobody stays in my expensive sheets with clothes on.'" She told investigators "as she slipped in and out of consciousness she had conscious images of Warren penetrating her vagina repeatedly with his penis."

The second victim told investigators she sent Warren a text message accusing him of abusing her and he replied, "I am sorry," the affidavit says.

According to the affidavit, when Warren was interviewed by Diplomatic Security investigators, he claimed he had "engaged in consensual sexual intercourse" and admitted there were photographs of the two women on his personal laptop. He would not consent to a search or seizure of the computer, leading investigators to seek the warrant.

According to the affidavit, a search of Warren's residence in Algiers turned up Valium and Xanax and a handbook on the investigation of sexual assaults.

The affidavit says toxicologists at the FBI laboratory say Xanax and Valium are among the drugs "commonly used to facilitate sexual assault."

"Drugs commonly referred to as date rape drugs are difficult to detect because the body rapidly metabolizes them," said former FBI agent Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant. "Many times women are not aware they were even assaulted until the next day," he said.

The CIA refused to acknowledge the investigation or provide the name of the Algiers station chief, but the CIA Director of Public Affairs, Mark Mansfield, said, "I can assure you that the Agency would take seriously, and follow up on, any allegations of impropriety."

State Departmentt Acting Spokesman Robert Wood issued a statement saying, "The U.S. takes very seriously any accusations of misconduct involving any U.S. personnel abroad. The individual is question has returned to Washington and the U.S. Government is looking into the matter."

U.S. officials were bracing for public reaction in the Muslim world, following the report of the allegation.

"It has the potential to be quite explosive if it's not handled well by the United States government," said Isobel Coleman, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who specializes in women's issues in the Middle East.

"This isn't the type of thing that's going to be easily pushed under the carpet," she said.

U.S. Officials Say They Found Video Tapes

Both women have reportedly since given sworn statements to federal prosecutors sent from Washington to prepare a possible criminal case against the CIA officer.

Following the initial complaints, U.S. officials say they did obtain a warrant from a federal judge in Washington, D.C. in October to search the station chief's CIA-provided residence in Algiers and turned up the videos that appear to have been secretly recorded and show, they say, Warren engaged in sexual acts.

Officials say one of the alleged victims is seen on tape, in a "semi-conscious state."

The time-stamped date on other tapes led prosecutors to broaden the investigation to Egypt because the date matched a time when Warren was in Cairo, officials said.

As the station chief in Algiers, Warren played an important role in working with the Algerian intelligence services to combat an active al Qaeda wing responsible for a wave of bombings in Algeria.

In the most serious incident, 48 people were killed in a bombing in Aug. 2008 in Algiers, blamed on the al Qaeda group.

The Algerian ambassador to the United Nations, Mourad Benmehid, said his government had not been notified by the U.S. of the rape allegations or the criminal investigation.

Repeated messages left for the Warren with his parents and his sister were not returned.

No charges have been filed, but officials said a grand jury was likely to consider an indictment on sexual assault charges as early as next month.

"This will be seen as the typical ugly American," said former CIA officer Bob Baer, reacting to the ABC News report. "My question is how the CIA would not have picked up on this in their own regular reviews of CIA officers overseas," Baer said.

"From a national security standpoint," said Baer, the alleged rapes would be "not only wrong but could open him up to potential blackmail and that's something the CIA should have picked up on," said Baer. "This is indicative of personnel problems of all sorts that run through the agency," he said.

"Rape is ugly in any context," said Coleman, who praised the bravery of the alleged Algerian victims in going to authorities. "Rape is viewed as very shameful to women, and I think this is an opportunity for the U.S. to show how seriously it takes the issue of rape," she said.

Click Here for the Investigative Homepage.

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26000  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India and India-Pak on: January 28, 2009, 05:53:01 PM
Having seen some material coming out of India, I share considerable sympathy with that line of analysis.   

Given our lack of conceptual clarity on the basics and/or even who the players are, are we up to a strategy that essentially calls for the disintegration of the Islamic nuclear state of Pakistan?
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